There’s a read-along record book for Asteroids? Yep! In 1982, Kid Stuff put out a few records based on popular Atari games, like Asteroids, Missile Command, and Yars’ Revenge. Although there is no plot in any of those shoot-em-up button smashers, that left fertile ground for Kid Stuff to make up whatever story they wanted for these albums.
Asteroids was first released to arcades in November 1979. It would go on to be Atari’s best-selling arcade game of all-time, with 70,000 units sold worldwide, earning Atari $150 million in sales (about $471 million today). It’s been estimated that the game earned pizza parlors, bowling alleys, and arcades around $500 million (about $1.5 billion) in quarters, so much so they had to install bigger quarter containers in the machine so they didn’t have to empty them as often. Oddly enough, the game was a flop in Japan, mostly because the Japanese had been playing space games for years and the trend was going stale.
This record book from Kid Stuff is…fine. The story follows a member of the Outer Quadrant Recon Patrol who investigates the disappearance of a robot mining vehicle. He finds an illegal asteroid mining operation and takes it out. The story is all voice-over from one actor, probably to keep production costs down. The dialog is pretty ridiculous with a lot of meaningless science fiction babble about robots with magnetic bubble memory and ships with hypershields. And the artwork is not exactly stellar (no pun intended).
There are actually two Asteroid records from Kid Stuff, a read-along and a 12″ LP without a book that has a different story and higher production values. The LP has a few different voice actors, original songs, and a story about a ship accidentally traveling back to 1983. I would love to get my hands on this one, but they usually go for a pretty penny, usually between $35-$50. I think my best bet will be to just keep digging crates and hope for a deal.